Journal article

Missed opportunity? Framing actions around co-benefits for carbon mitigation in Australian agriculture

Climate change mitigation Greenhouse gas mitigation Farmers Agriculture Finance Australia

Agriculture around the world is one of the industries most affected by, and faced with responsibility to mitigate, climate change. Through improvements in technology and efficiency as well as changes to land use management, agriculture can make an important contribution to meeting global commitments such as the Paris agreement or the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet international carbon markets have not resulted in sufficiently high financial returns to motivate the full potential of land sector changes in Australia and globally.

Through analysis of 110 interviews with 55 farmers, 43 advisors and 12 stakeholders in the land sector the authors identify that the framing of ‘carbon-farming’ in agriculture as a financial opportunity creates a barrier to how farmers perceive participation in carbon markets. As a result of this finding, this paper argues that framing the opportunities with increased attention to co-benefits and broader economic incentives in addition to potential financial opportunities could re-invigorate how carbon farming is perceived and adopted.

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